Kodiak’s Duncan Fields is seeking election for the Alaska House of Representatives for District 32. Though running as an independent, Fields was, until recently, the chairman of the District 32 Republican Party. He renounced that position when he filed for office.
Fields has also been active in the community as president of the Kodiak Island Borough School District and in fisheries issues as a fisheries consultant and as a member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council among other positions.
Despite his expertise in the area, Fields says he’s “more than just a fisheries person.”
“I’ve been a processing small business owner for many years, I was involved in [the] agricultural industry, cattle ranch for many for years, I worked as an attorney on the Exxon Valdez oil spill for 7 years and then moved into fisheries advocacy.”
Now, he wants to join the House of Representatives and apply his experiences to resolving the budget gap.
“I’d focus on a long-term fiscal plan, I’d look at revenue sources and we have to look at additional budget cuts. I’m familiar with some areas of government, particularly he Department of Fish and Game and the Department of Revenue.”
He says the legislature needs to build revenue, which should include reallocation of the Alaska Permanent Fund earnings and an income tax in order to benefit from out-of-staters who work in Alaska and then leave.
Fields says the legislature will also need to look at a sales tax, especially with regard to online shopping. As it stands, local business owners are at a disadvantage because a customer pays a 7% sales tax in Kodiak and there are none for online stores.
“We certainly have to address the inequities relative to online sales, but probably also need to look at a statewide sales tax and look at exempting things like groceries and other necessities and probably making some accommodation for municipalities like Kodiak that already have their sales tax.”
Fields says the main focus of his time in the House if elected would be the budget.
“In the face of imports and in the face of energy and in the face of what needs to happen in the next two years, we really should just be talking about [a] long term fiscal plan, how to solve a fiscal plan, and how we resolve that will be determinative on many, many other issues. Failure to resolve that will also be determinative, but it may be determinative in that we can’t even talk about other issues.”
Independent Duncan Fields is running against Democrat Brent Watkins and current representative, Republican Louise Stutes, in the November election.